Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Preview/Lines #55: Carpenter Has Seen Both Sides of Winning & Losing With Sharks, Golden Knights



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Ryan Carpenter has seen both sides of the coin with the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights.

In 2017-18, after the Sharks waived him, the expansion Golden Knights claimed him on Dec. 13. From that point on, Carpenter saw Vegas peel eight-straight wins off, announcing to the world that this expansion team was for real.

This year, Carpenter was called up from the AHL at the tail-end of the Sharks’ 0-10-1 start. He also was a part of San Jose’s recent 12-game losing streak.

So Carpenter has seen first-hand how both winning and losing snowball.

Of the so-called Golden Misfits, Carpenter recalled, in the midst of the Sharks’ 12-game losing streak, “I’m sure the way they started the year they probably didn’t come in with that belief. Came in just trying to prove people wrong and take it one day at a time.”

Not one pundit predicted that the first-year team would make the playoffs. But they got off to a quick start, winning eight of their first nine games, and never looking back, on their way to taking the Pacific Division and reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

“There just seems like there’s momentum in a season and if you can kind of carry it and ride it, sometimes, you start winning games and maybe you didn’t even deserve to win, but you find ways to win them because your belief is there. There’s no self-doubt creeping in,” he said. “To get to a point where you’re winning games like that, takes a lot of building.”

Losing games like the San Jose Sharks have this year takes a lot of building too. Not building belief though – building self-doubt.

In training camp, I asked Nico Sturm what the Sharks needed to do to avoid the 0-5-0 start that sent their 2022-23 campaign in the wrong direction.

He didn’t say anything about scoring more goals or adhering to defensive structure or a five-man forecheck.

“Get some points in the bank,” he said. “I don’t care how.”

Carpenter echoed that, “You don’t want to play the wrong way and win, but sometimes, you find a way to get a win or goaltending plays well or special teams wins you a game and it isn’t how you draw it up, but you win a game, and sometimes, that belief just starts kicking back.”

The Sharks never got that win at the right time, that’s for sure.

“The losing snowballs, for sure,” Carpenter said. “Sometimes, that one win just helps guys relax. I think when you’re losing, self-doubt comes in. That’s when your character’s tested and tested as a team to really stay bought in and trust the process, trust the system and trust each other.”

San Jose Sharks (15-34-5)

Mackenzie Blackwood starts, Henry Thrun is a possibility. Here’s how the Sharks practiced yesterday:

Vegas Golden Knights (31-17-6)

Golden Knights Game 55 Preview: Time to Get Back on Track vs. Sharks, Notes, Keys to the Game, and How to Watch

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights is 1:00 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook